Since COVID-19 came to India, people are looking out for all sorts of ways to protect themselves. Be it practicing hand hygiene or wearing a mask, you are doing everything possible to keep the virus at bay. There have already been many speculations to determine, for how long the virus survives on different surfaces.
According to a study by the National Institutes of Health, USA, COVID-19 can thrive on cardboards for 24 hours, while on steel and plastics it can live upto three days. Several studies claim that it can also live on your shoes for a maximum of five days. Since most shoes are made of leather, rubber and plastic, they can become another carrier of the virus.
Infectious disease specialist Mary E. Schmidt said that the time of survival of the virus can actually be five days or more according to several studies done on materials closely related to shoe materials at room temperature.
According to Georgine Nanos, who is a family practitioner in USA, shoes can be a potential source of contamination, especially if they’re worn in heavily populated areas such as markets, hospitals, workplace etc.
You can also be a possible carrier of virus if your shoes touch an infected place or someone who is already infected sneezes or cough near you. Those droplets might land on your shoes and can also infect you.
Another reason why shoes can be a breeding ground for bacteria and viruses is that it comes in contact with dirt and germs more than anything else. Virus and bacteria can breed on the sole of the shoe and might even get carried to your home.
In order to protect yourself and your family, it is best to take the following precautions to ensure that you are safe from contracting the virus:
- Remove your shoes before entering your house
- Wash the shoes worn to public places with water and soap
- Shoes which are machine-washable can also be cleaned in the washing machine
- Leather and other materials which couldn’t be washed with water must be wiped properly with a disinfectant
- Place a clean pair of slippers or shoes outside your doorstep and change into them before entering your house